Multi-Syllable Phonics for the Well Taught Phonics Student

This webpage outlines how to teach multi-syllable words up to the 12th grade reading level for a student who has learned the basics of phonics but is reading below a 12th grade level. The complete program includes in spelling rules and syllable division rules.

First, check to make sure your student is actually well taught. Your student should not be guessing at words. Also, they should not have been taught with more than a dozen sight words as wholes. You can make sure they are reading well phonetically and not guessing with a quick nonsense word check. They should be able to easily read all the nonsense words on either version of the New Elizabethian Test, which can be found on 40L’s testing page.

If these nonsense words are difficult, you will want to use the entire program on our how to tutor page and/or the free online phonics lessons, a series of free online phonics movies.

Next, do a quick check of the student’s current reading grade level with 40L’s Quick Screen Reading Grade Level Test, also found on the testing page. If you do not provide answers, you can re-use this test at a later date to measure progress. Detailed instructions on how to give this test are provided with the test.

For a student reading above their current grade level, or just for a fun quick trial of syllable before working through the compete program, you can have your student work through A Crash Course in Polysyllables. This "crash course" is a 6 page condensed version of the program linked below, with excerpts from Don Potter’s Blend Phonics and Webster’s 1908 Speller and 40L’s syllable division rules and exercises, the complete files for which are found below in links #5 and 6.

The complete syllabic phonics spelling and reading program uses all the resources below. It uses a shortened form of Webster’s Speller. For more work with multi-syllable words, you can complete the entire 1908 Webster’s Speller, available for order in book form and as a free PDF from Don Potter’s Spelling Page. You can also view 40L's multi-syllable phonics YouTube videos.

Multi-syllable Spelling and Reading Program for a Well Taught Phonics Student:

How to explain syllables and add in the phonics and spelling rules and syllable division rules and exercises is spelled out in link #1 below, the guide. Link #2, the checklist, is a checklist to help keep you and your student on track. Read and spell a few words of each type for Blend Phonics words your student knows well. Read all and spell a few more for word types your student does not know well. Use the phonics concentration game as needed to curb any guessing habits. The guide was originally written for teaching groups of remedial students, but can be easily modified to teach a single student or a group of students taught with a good phonics base. You need to print out the files in the links below to use the program.

1. Guide to using Blend Phonics to teach Spelling and Syllables.

2. Blend Phonics and Webster Excerpts Progression Checklist

3. Blend Phonics Reader (from Don Potter)

4. Spelling and phonics rules.

5. Syllable division rules.

6. Syllable division exercises.

7. Readings from Hebrews 12 marked to show progress through program.

8. Webster's Speller Excerpts

9. Vowel and Consonant Charts for reference.